Caird Library and Archive online request system

Order items from the National Maritime Museum's Library and Archive collections to study in the Library’s Reading Room using the Aeon request system.

Using the Aeon request system you can:

  • order items in advance of your study visit
  • keep a record of items you may wish to see in the future
  • keep a record of items you have already seen
  • keep a record of emails received from the Library, for example telling you when an item is unavailable to view

What materials can I request?

All of the collections held in the Library and Archive collections can be requested using the Aeon system.

This includes modern and rare books, journals, pamphlets, manuscripts, charts and maps and some prints and drawings.

How do I find the items I want to see?

The Library and Archive collections are available to view online:

Find out more about the Library & Archive collection

Some prints, drawings, sea charts and maps are also available to view online via the Museum collections portal.

Search the Archive catalogue

Search the Library catalogue

How do I request items for research?

Aeon allows you to request up to six items in advance. If you have requested the maximum number of items, at least one must be returned to the Library Issue Desk before another request can be made. To make a request:

  1. Register for a three year Reader’s Ticket using the Aeon Caird Library and Archive Ordering System.
  2. Search our online collections to find the items you wish to request.
  3. Click the ‘Place order’ button on the item profile page to add it to your request list (the Aeon login screen will appear the first time you do this).
  4. For journals only, specify the issue/volume and date in the Notes field of the Aeon request form
  5. View and check the items you have requested, and repeat the process as required.
  6. Select the date and time you wish to access requested items at the Caird Library and Archive.
  7. When you’ve finished your order, click ‘Submit request’.

Register to visit

Request and delivery times

Delivery times for items in store at the Museum is around 40 minutes. We receive one delivery per week for items stored off site.

Items stored at the Museum

  • If you would like an item to be available to study when the Library opens at 10.00 you must request it by 15.30 the day before (Note: to study an item at 10.00 on Tuesday you must request it on Friday)
  • Requests for prints, drawings, sea charts and maps must be submitted by 12.30 the day before (note: prints and drawings are not available for study on Saturday)
  • To request books, journals and periodicals for study on the same day (Tuesday to Friday), we recommend you place your order as early as possible. The latest you can submit a request for study on the same day is 15.30
  • To request books, journals and periodicals for study on the same day (Saturday), we recommend you order it as early as possible on the day. The latest you can submit a request for study on the same day is 14.30

Items stored off site

  • To request items stored off site requires eight days notice

Note: Some items stored at the Museum and off site can only be viewed by appointment, including some sea charts and maps, prints and drawings.

Contact us

If you have any questions or queries about requesting an item from the Caird Library & Archive, contact us.


Tel: 020 8312 6516

Item delivery schedule

The delivery schedule for items stored at the Museum and off site is listed below.

  • Museum stores Tuesday to Friday - seven deliveries per day
  • Museum stores Saturday - three deliveries
  • Off site stores - one delivery per week (requires eight days notice)

Can I save items in the Aeon system to request later?

You can save items for future use in the Aeon request system using the ‘Keep For My Review’ option. To access a request that you have placed into the ‘Keep for My Review’ folder:

  • Login to the Aeon system
  • Click on ‘Review Requests’ in the left hand menu
  • You can complete new item request from this screen using the date and time feature.

Can I extend a request?

Items that have been requested and viewed on one day can be held overnight for viewing the next day.

To do this, request the item you want to study for a second day in the Aeon system, and select the following days date in the calendar. When you return the item after the first day of study, inform staff at the Library Issue Desk that you wish to study it again tomorrow.

What if the item I request isn’t available?

Once you've placed your request using the Aeon system, the Library team will check its availability. If there is a problem with accessing the item, the team will contact you by email to inform you of the issue.

If the item you wish to study is not available to order via the online Library and Archive collections and the Aeon system, contact the Aeon support team.


Tel: +44 (0)20 8312 6516